U4D: Instagram Part 2
It was so good to hear how many of you enjoyed the introduction to Instagram post last week. This week I thought we could look at followers. Getting them seems to be the thing that everyone wants to do, I know it is something I’ve been trying to do for quite a while. There are ways of doing it, and ways not to, so this post will look at both.
Growing Followers on Instagram
Followers can be fickle people, and without a doubt, on all the social media platforms I’ve been on Instagram is the worse. People will follow you and then unfollow you just because you haven’t followed them back. It can be quite depressing, but you have to reassure yourself that you
aren’t the only person this is happening too.
What not to do
It is so easy to get caught up in that “they followed me, so I should follow them back” mentality. Let’s face it nearly all of us, when we started Instagram, did the same thing. You end up following people whose work you don’t like and then wonder what you should do.
You may also get people commenting, saying F4F, or follow for follow, or other suggestions. You should delete them, if that is all they want you to do. The other one you find is the “get 10000 followers easily”, or something along those lines. It is paying for followers and that is something you should never do as well.
The reason are simply, you will just end up with spam followers, so they don’t engage in your content and aren’t beneficial at all. You want to grow your followers organically, which means putting in the hard work and getting people to follow you because they genuinely like you and your work. If they like what you do then they will press the like button on your images, or better still, leave you a lovely comment. It is all about engagement and that is what social media is all about.
Things you can do to get followers
It can be as simple as liking and commenting. If someone likes your post you can go and take a look at what they do, like some of their work back. If you like their images, then follow them, if they like yours, then they may follow you back, may. Clicking the heart to say you like the work, or double tapping on an image goes a long way. Never underestimate how much people like it when you like what they do.
It is one thing to like and comment on those that you follow, but if you want to grow your followers then you need to reach out to more people. The way that people do it on Instagram is through hashtags.
If you look at what people post, they all use hashtags, for example today I put up a long exposure photo of Melbourne at sunrise (the featured image), so when I posted the photo I used hashtags like #cityscape #skyline #longexposure etc. If you go to the search function, and put in that hashtag, or just click on it in your post you will see a whole lot of other posts from people that have used the same one. If you start going through them and liking, and/or commenting on the photos, you will start to see that people will start following you. You may also find people that you want to follow. It is a great way to look and see what others are doing. I often look at #melbourne so I can see what people are posting about this gorgeous city I live in.
Think about ways to use the hashtags, not just to look for people, but also to use when you post. If you are looking at certain hashtags you can be sure that others are doing the same. If you are unsure what hashtags to use then look at the ones that people use that do similar images to you. Though, some of them might be for hubs, which we will talk about in future posts.
You can’t like too many posts in an hour, or Instagram will think you are a bot and you will be blocked. Unlike WordPress, if you get blocked it is just for an hour, on Instagram you can end up blocked for anything from 24 to 48 hours. You can still post and comment, but you can’t like anything. Apparently, it is if you like more than 350 posts an hour. That is a lot, but obviously achievable. I’ve been blocked a couple of times, now I try to take breaks while doing it, so I don’t go too fast.
I hope you are enjoying these different parts. Next time I will try to cover posting photos, the how and different ways of doing it. Depending on how long the post will be, then we may look at hubs, being featured, though more likely it will be part 4.